The art of giving a gift

Dyon J. Kaleuwee
3 min readJan 24, 2023

Whether it’s someone’s birthday, anniversary or graduation, we’re all confronted with this moral responsibility of showing the ones we care about, how much we care and precisely how well (or little) we know them by investing our precious time and fleeting brain sparks to find the perfect gesture disguised as a gift.

What constitutes as a good gift? Like with any successful campaign, it starts with a concept. In order to get to a great concept we must ask some great questions, like: What is the person like? what does he/she like? Or perhaps the greatest one to ask: What would they really not be expecting us to know about them and how can we make that tangible? Sounds like we’ve got ourselves a brief.

We all have the privilege of being able to watch our friends & families lives from a distance, which makes us see things they often have grown oblivious to. You know that cousin that would rather be on an iPad than engage in conversation? Perhaps he’s in need of some one-on-one quality time. Or what about the grandma who smells like she sleeps in the fragrance department of the local department store. Perhaps giving her something else rather than soap or perfume is a good idea. What about the silent writer in the family or the loud bathroom singer? What about the over-analytical traveller or the snobbish fine-taster? There are traits we can find in the people closest to us that they’re often times oblivious to. But that’s where all of the opportunities are, hiding in plain sight.

That gift-finding-panic, source:

The truth is, it’s not that difficult to be original. I know, shocker. But it really is a matter of taking the time to see and process. So, what’s a great concept? It’s probably where the unsuspected meets the necessary. We’ve just covered the unsuspected (and no, that’s never a gift card or voucher). What about the necessary? Or more simply put, what does the person need or long for? Not talking about their underlying, deepest desires — but the obvious, the practical. The writer’s pen, the painter’s brush and the Chef’s knife. Now combine the two and you’ll probably have a great gift idea on your hands. The type you can’t wait to be unwrapped, the type you can barely shut up about.

Then you’ll find yourself in the last phase. Congratulations if you’ve managed to come this far, you already pulled off something potentially groundbreaking. Something other people with cash filled envelopes will resent you for. But hey, what are celebrations without a little resentment? The last phase is the execution. This is where your gift has to live, where it will potentially receive its context or possibly it might even complete the gift itself. Think as big as location, but also as small as snacks. A little goes a long way, so just imagine what a lot can do.